The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

the queen of the tearling

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Book #1, The Queen of the Tearling
Published by Harper Paperbacks on April 14th 2015
Paperback copy from Fully Booked
464 pages


A young woman.

A kingdom.

An evil enemy.

A birthright foretold.

With the arrival of her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn is ascending to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling. Surrounded by enemies, including an evil sorceress possessed of dark magic, the young ruler stands little chance of success. But Kelsea possesses fearsome weapons of her own, including the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic. As an epic war draws near, Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny begins—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend... if she can survive.

When a book grabs at you and keeps you right where you are, unable to do anything but turn pages- you know you’ve found yourself a fantastic read. The Queen of the Tearling proved to be just that for me.

In all honesty, it seemed like a daunting book initially. It was a pretty thick novel and when I first started reading, I found that the chapters were laboriously long. That aside, what kept me going was my eager desire to learn more about the world Kelsea Raleigh lived in, most especially the place that she was born to rule- the land of the Tearling.

Just turned the rightful age of 19, it’s time for Kelsea to finally take her throne. She leaves the small cottage in the woods she’s called home as a child, the Queen’s Guard in tow to safely bring her back to her kingdom where she will be coronated Queen. However, the route back to The Keep a.k.a the Tearling royalty’s palace is a dangerzone full of people out to do away with Kelsea so she may never be crowned. With that, we get quite some action-packed scenes pretty early on. And things just get more exciting as Kelsea ascends as Queen- there’s horrible things to be stopped, magic to be discovered, secrets and schemes to be found out.

“Even a book can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and when that happens, you blame the hands, but you also read the book.”

While the story was beyond interesting, what I loved most about the book is its main character. Kelsea, just as she is, was engaging to read. She’s bookish, smart, witty, good-natured. Her personality was genuine and I found myself easily connecting with her. As a queen, I found Kelsea totally admirable and kickass. I loved how she was righteous, reflective about making decisions, strong-willed. She truly had what it takes to be queen and as I watched her stand up to challenges, threats, and trials as the book progressed, I grew proud of her. I knew then that I would follow her journey and see through this series.

Other than Kelsea, I liked reading about the rest of characters who were all very distinct. A lot of them I found very intriguing and can’t wait to read more about- Lazarus of the Mace who served as Kelsea’s Captain of the Guard, The Fetch, and even the Red Queen. We get multiple viewpoints here and even when a lot of them were sparse since Kelsea’s remained the main narrative, they were a great addition.

This and the great and vivid world building Erika Johansen exhibited, and the unflinchingly well-written story itself were enough to pull me in and get me immersed into The Queen of the Tearling. I was surprised and dazzled by how much I really enjoyed reading it. I need the sequel ASAP!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is available in Fully Booked.

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Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.
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  1. Lourdes on January 9, 2015 at 12:03 am

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about the book so I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I just picked up an eBook copy of it so I think I’ll be reading it soon!

  2. Carl on January 9, 2015 at 12:47 am

    I’m a big fan of the older stuff, The Hobbit and LotR especially. Thanks for the chance to win this one, I hear it’s excellent.

  3. Amanda P. on January 9, 2015 at 12:51 am

    I LOVE fantasy, so my list would be so super long if I were to list my favorites, but my current favorite fantasy series is the Throne of Glass series by SJMaas. I’ve kinda been a bit obsessed with those books for about two years now lol.

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed this book as much as you did!!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!!!

  4. Laila BC on January 9, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Fantasy is one of my fave genre esp. in the YA…well some of my fave so far are Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, The Grisha Trilogy, The Throne of Glass series, Graceling. I’m glad you did a review of this one as well as a fab giveaway coz i have been eyeing this one at the bookstore last year…but i had other books on the list to buy. so i got an ebook copy instead for now. but it’s still on my tbr :)

  5. Jen Zun on January 9, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Of course, DIVERGENT! :) Big fan of the Divergent Series! I like how it tackles not just about the usual romantic love and family ties, but also the society which you kinda reflect and see how it is in reality. Somehow it might be true of what it predicted in the book.

  6. Johanna on January 9, 2015 at 6:07 am

    If it’s fantasy we’re talking about, I can’t leave out Harry Potter. That’s where it started for me. :) The Mortal Instruments is also one of my faves along with the Infernal Devices, Throne of Glass Series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and a ton of other interesting series! :D

  7. Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination on January 9, 2015 at 6:09 am

    This sounds like a wonderful book with a really intriguing plot. I love books that keep me flipping the pages, too, as I’m sure many people do. Also, I LOVE reading about bookish characters. I understand them so much better, you know?

  8. Antonio Joaquin Querido on January 9, 2015 at 7:24 am

    The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices! Omg luv luv!

  9. Amanda on January 9, 2015 at 9:31 am

    So many, but definitely LOTR and the Narnia series. A more recent one I can think of is the Graceling series.

  10. Claire on January 9, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I’ve SO wanted to read this for some time!!!

  11. Carl on January 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Hazel, I just noticed the (PH) in the tweet. Is this giveaway for followers in the Philippines only? Thanks.

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on January 9, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Carl, yes it is. The giveaway copy is sponsored by my local bookstore so the contest will only be open for PH residents. Sorry!

  12. Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon on January 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Great giveaway! Some of my favorite fantasy novels are the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, the Grisha series, and, of course, Harry Potter!!

  13. Chanpreet on January 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I’ve never heard of this book or author before, so thank you for bringing it to my attention!

  14. Julie on January 9, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Kelsea sounds like such a cool main character – I may have to give this a read!

  15. Christine F. on January 9, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    This book looks awesome and the cover is so pretty. Mysteriously looking, Great review!I cannot wait to read it! One of my favorite fantasy are Divergent and Under The never sky trilogy.:) Thank you Hazel for the giveaway. :)

  16. Jen @ Books and Other Happy Ever Afters on January 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Oooh lalala! I’ve been hearing very mixed things about THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING, so I’ve been conflicted about whether to read it or not. Honestly though, from your review, I think I would really enjoy it. Kelsea sounds like the exact type of character I would bond and grow to love. And I’m glad that the other characters were interesting too! Fabulous review, Hazel! (and of course, beautiful photo)

  17. Michelle Sedeño on January 10, 2015 at 3:04 am

    The Lunar Chronicles! The Falconer, Iron Fey series.. ;)

  18. Taylor Lynn on January 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I’ve heard a lot about this book, and it seems to have garnered some fairly mixed opinions–but I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Personally, I always love to read about bookish protagonists, so that alone is cool (plus that’s a great quote about books being dangerous). And bookish queens? Even better, haha! Great review, Hazel! :)

  19. Cali W. on January 10, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Great review and giveaway! I love any fantasy with a werewolf. ;)

  20. Liat on January 11, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Recently, my favorite fantasy novels are anything by Juliet Marillier. Especially Daughter of the Forest and Wildwood Dancing.
    A part of me really wants to read Queen of the Tearling because it sounds like my kind of book, but I read some reviews that weren’t so thrilled. Guess I’ll have to see for myself some time.

  21. Irma on January 11, 2015 at 4:11 am

    I haven’t read them so many I could pick… Maybe Lux series.

  22. Isha on January 11, 2015 at 4:30 am

    I’ve heard a lot about this book and the bad reviews want to make me read the book even more. :)

    • Isha on January 11, 2015 at 4:31 am

      I haven’t read that much fantasy though, it’s a new genre to me!

  23. Gabriella M on January 13, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Jennifer A. Nielsen: The False Prince is great.

  24. HasiVA on January 13, 2015 at 3:25 am

    I’m dying to read this book!!!

  25. HasiVA on January 13, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Fave fantasy??? The list goes on, but I’d say Game of Thrones is one! :)

  26. Aimal on January 13, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    My favorite fantasy series is “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George RR Martin! (and Harry Potter duh)

  27. Cohlina Mae on January 14, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Harry Potter ’til the end! :)

  28. Liz on January 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!! I love your blog, and I’ve been wanting to read this book! Harry Potter originally got me into reading fantasy, so I have to give that credit as one of my favorites! Another one of my favorite fantasy novels is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

  29. Allie L on January 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    My favorites are throne of glass by sarah j maas, the seven realms series by cinda williams chima, and finnikin of the rocks by melina marchetta.

  30. Bernadette Bauyon on January 15, 2015 at 3:20 am

    I am so looking forward to reading this book!

  31. JAsmine Ong on January 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

    is the The Mortal Instruments consider fantasy ? ha

  32. Alena on January 18, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    My favorite fantasy novels would prolly be The Harry Potter series, the Divergent trilogy and The Mortal Instruments series. Ugh, I just love all of them in different ways.

  33. Nickole on January 19, 2015 at 2:27 am

    I loved The Hobbit and of course, The Lux series, though I haven’t finished them all yet.

  34. Denise on January 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Throne of Glass, The Hollows series, The Dresden Files, the Codex Alera series (soooooooo underrated), and many more. Fantasy is my favorite genre. Thanks for this giveaway!

  35. Brianna's Bookish Confessions on January 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Some of my favorite fantasy books are Mortal Instruments, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Shadow and Bone! (I haven’t read that much fantasy honestly).

  36. Alexa S. on January 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I loved The Queen of the Tearling! It was one of my favorite fantasy reads from 2014, mostly because I loved Kelsea and her story. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything continues in The Invasion of the Tearling — and hoping for just a spot of romance for our beloved Kelsea. I’m glad you loved it too!

  37. Mariah on January 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you so so much for doing this giveaway. That cover is stunning holy cow. My favorite fantasy novels are the Throne of Glass series, Snow lie Ashes, The Grisha trilogy, and The Infernal Devices :)

  38. Sherna Tesara on January 25, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    The Kiss of Deception was really my favorite fantasy read of 2014.

  39. Chastine on January 26, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Some of my favorite fantasy series/novels are: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Shatter Me trilogy ;)

  40. Rebecca on January 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

    really want to read this

  41. Rebecca on January 27, 2015 at 11:01 am

    love the bone season and the mortal instruments

  42. loise on January 27, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    my faves are throne of glass series and the infernal devices

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